Weekly sheep and cattle market wrap 7 October

Key points:

  • Cattle prices in WA shift after stronger sales.
  • Some wet weather moving into next week could tighten supply in the saleyards.
  • The light lamb indicator continues to strengthen as processors maintain demand for new season lambs.
  • Slaughter numbers have returned to seasonal norms after the string of public holidays.

Indicators

Total cattle yardings have softened 31% week-on-week after the strong yardings seen last week. This, along with the recent public holidays and rain events, has impacted the numbers moving through the yards.

Pastoral cattle sales in WA have softened 11% week-on-week and 68% since July, although there has been a strong general improvement in prices in the state across the board. This was evident at Muchea, with the feeder steer prices at the saleyard improving 14¢ week-on-week.

The Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) has strengthened 39¢ week-on-week with a strong sale from Mount Barker contributing 73% to the indicator. Although Muchea is trading under the state indicator this is still a strengthening of prices at the saleyard. Prices have improved 64c week-on-week.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) has softened 35¢ week-on-week with a price correction from last week’s strong sales. The indicator now sits at 1,039¢/kg cwt.

Wagga Wagga had an extremely strong sale even though there were tighter yardings. This week, Wagga took out the top average price for the restocker lamb indicator, trading at 246¢/kg cwt above the national average. Top trade lamb prices were also seen at Wagga Wagga, where trade lambs fetched 820.19¢/kg cwt. These strong prices allowed the trade lamb indicator to improve nationally.

Slaughter

Slaughter volumes have returned to seasonal norms after the string of public holidays.

Cattle slaughter, although below year-ago levels, has seen an increase of 10% week-on-week.

Lamb slaughter has returned to year-ago levels at 361,568 head while sheep slaughter was at 112,892 head, or 14% below year ago levels.

Interestingly, goat slaughter has seen a large uptick of 45% week-on-week with Victoria coming back online. One thing that can be noted is the large increase in goat slaughter in SA, where there has been a 222% increase in numbers from six weeks ago and a 487% increase on year-ago levels. These numbers show the capacity of SA for goat slaughter to increase moving forward.

Markets update

Blackall did not run this week.

Markets that did not run due to the public holiday this week included Dubbo, Toowoomba, Forbes (cattle), Wagga (cattle), Tamworth and Corowa.

Other

The top sheep and cattle producing regions of 2021 were released by ABS. View these insights here.

The Sheep Producer Intentions survey remains open for producers to complete until 16 October. To complete the survey, click here. You can also view all past survey results here.

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